"Pletcher and Bartolameolli are undisputed experts on the subject of co-sex addiction.  They know more about it than anyone I know and have presented  an expose that with great clarity supersedes anything I have read before."

– John Bradshaw

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back from my travels

I've been on three continents, in six different countries and over ten different states in the last four weeks. It is amazing to me that I feel so grounded and centered. My travels were both business and pleasure; researching for another book and enjoying my husband, daughter and friends. We are also celebrating graduation ceremonies with our two sons; one from high school and another from college. There is great joy and gratitude for me at this time in life. I am glad to share with you.

What might this have to do with recovery, co-sex addiction and addictive relationships? For me, I've been struck with the challenge of being with the good in my life. I've noticed it is still a bit uncomfortable to welcome the abundance available to me. There remains this part of me that still has comfort in that which is challenging and difficult. Living in addiction will do this to us. We become conditioned to be on guard and prepared for the next drama.

As a result of my consistency and willingness to go within for my healing and to be responsible for my own family of origin healing work, I live a life of abundance today.

*I have an abundance of mature relationships. I count on a select community of friends and family members to be available and present with honesty, self-responsibility and respect.
*I have a husband that adores me and stands for my powerful self-expression in the world.
*I have an abundance of financial resources and I share them generously with intention.
*I have an abundance of intuition that I rely on for guidance.
*I have an abundance of energy that I guard with great care and vigilance, using as I choose with discernment and purpose.
*I have an abundance of gifts to offer others and to share with for the purpose of service and healing.
*I have an abundance of health and vitality and I remain true to those actions which I know will empower and energize my body and spirit.

These are just some of the gifts of 12 step recovery work. When I do my part, take responsibility for my own projections, shadows, wants, feelings, expectations, needs and life circumstances, I clear my energy field and the Divine blesses me with abundance and authenticity.

I want to share this journey with others and assist in any humble way that I am able. I want to encourage all individuals to receive the abundance waiting to be bestowed upon them.

Twelve step recovery and family of origin work is painful and challenging, but the rewards reaped over time are beyond imagination. I am grateful for the journey.

Blessings to you on your path,



Monday, July 14, 2008

Conflict as a path to authenticity

Blessings and greetings to all,

In the last week, I've had opportunities to reflect on something we only touched on in our book which was conflict as an entryway to intimacy. As women in recovery, we learn that healthy angry is an important part of having healthy boundaries, which is also an important foundation for authentic relationships. Sometimes in the beginning of learning how to hold our healthy anger and boundaries, we use strong energy and feel "triggered" beyond what is necessary in the situation. This is normal when we are learning a new behavior. Often all the times in the past when we did not have a choice or acted in our co-dependency and care-taking may arise. As we mature emotionally and learn how to hold healthy anger and communicate respectfully and cleanly, addressing conflict becomes easier. It becomes an opportunity for connection and closeness. This does take time, and it is worth the effort. As we mature in handling conflict, we see that hurt, defensiveness and blame occur less. For this to happen, it is essential to use a couple of tools and practices:

1) Distinguishing what actually happened in the relationship from what we make up about it. This means owning what gets triggered in us and owning our judgments and opinions. There is a difference between our judgment about someone's behavior and seeing objectively the facts or data. Someone who arrives ten minutes late is not necessarily inconsiderate, they are ten minutes late. We may make up or may judge that they are inconsiderate. Owning it as our judgment or opinion is important. We have a right to our opinions and judgments. The key is to own it as that, not as a fact.

2) If there is a good deal of energy with the situation or even if we may judge there is not, maturity means looking at our part. Is there something that is familiar in this situation that may be triggering us? How might this remind us of an old wound or pattern in our lives and relationships? What part might we have in attracting this situation into our lives again?

3) Respect and kindness are an essential part of conflict that becomes authentic connection. Even if we are angry or have been hurt, treating someone with kindness and respect is necessary if the conflict is to be a pathway to deeper connection. It is often easier to blame and attack someone and only focus on what they did according to our perspective, especially when feelings are hurt and we are reactive. It takes great maturity to look within to the reason for the intensity of emotion and our desire to make the other person bad or wrong. We learn over time that we can be angry AND kind at the same time. We learn to see ourselves in others, capable of making mistakes and hurting those we love. We learn to have more compassion when dealing in conflict situations. We also learn to respect both our perspective in any given situation as well as the other person's perspective. We learn that we can each see the same situation quite differently.

Whenever we have an intensity of emotion and want to make it all about the other person and what they did to us or how they are wrong, chances are we are triggered. Looking at our part is necessary. Mature, authentic communication means handling difficult situations with those we care about with detachment and respect; even when we are angry. We learn to hold this energy within us and to be kind to ourselves as well as the other person. Looking within for our part, seeing our humanness and shadows mirrored in another and using clean communication which means owning our own judgments and opinions, leads to authentic connections and relationships.

Courage and blessings on our journey,


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Freedom and Independence

Greetings from Africa,

Tomorrow is the 4th of July in our American tradition. I am thinking about freedom and independence related to addiction and dis-ease. At the moment, I am extraordinarily grateful for my personal healing and transformation in 12 step recovery. There is a great deal of energy used up to feed addictions:whether this is food, alcohol, sex, caretaking, and/or co-sex addiction. To continually 'give ourselves over' to the habit of whatever we use to fill our emptiness and avoid our pain requires consistent attention and action.

Learning to hold our own energy as sacred, allowing ourselves to have authentic grief, anger and fear and filling our emptiness within with spiritual resources including self love and compassion is great freedom, really. We are left with our connection to Spiritual source and the ability to use our energy, attention and focus to share our gifts and be of service to others.

This is real freedom. Today I am grateful for the courage of all who have faced addiction, dis-ease, our own pain with authentic reality and care. Thank you for the inspiration that you provide me.

In service of the Sacred,